Olivia Pierson: Climate Alarmism is the Opiate of the People

Olivia Pierson reflects on Clive Hamilton’s book, as covered in the Guardian (Defiant Earth: the fate of humans in the Anthropocene)

Climate alarmism, like religion, dulls the mind against reality, encouraging people to live within an illusion rather than in the cold light of day. Also like religion, it enables people in a society to openly signal their great, deep and wise virtue to others.

The parallels between climate alarmism and religion do not end here, in fact this is where they really get going.

Climate alarmism is a modern myth of Original Sin; man is a fallen creature and if left to his own devices is nothing but a force of destruction to those around him, including all of creation and yea, the great globe itself! What man needs is salvation through a personal conviction of his own sinfulness and a contrite commitment to avoiding future evil deeds – else the great day of reckoning will cause him and his children, and his children’s children to surely die.

If there is one thing First World greenies love doing more than anything else (apart from jet-setting around the world on toxic aviation fuel), it’s to crusade around the world to tell other people that their greenhouse emissions are sinful enough to be calling the wrath of the gods down upon not just themselves, but all of us. If you ever wondered what happened to the anxiously fault-searching Puritan do-gooder tradition of Western Europe and North America, verily I say unto you it transmigrated into the religions of the Left – climate alarmism (and multiculturalism, but we shan’t desecrate that today). 

If you don’t agree with them and reject their so-called evidence (even though many of these debates have barely been had because the alarmists have always claimed that the science is “settled”) you are an enemy of science who discards the Enlightenment. Ye gods, never mind that the Enlightenment was a powerful intellectual thunder clap which elevated free thought, reason, individualism and liberty of conscience above all other human values.

One would be hard pressed to think of a better example in the West of anti Enlightenment values than what the climate alarmists have sought to unleash on the world – more government coercion, punitive taxes on businesses and agriculture, the wedlock of science to the state, a call for greatly reduced personal carbon footprints (to below what the average citizen of North Korea now emits), along with the creation of more crushingly authoritarian bureaucracies to police it. All this on the basis of a politically motivated scientific theory which has yet to be settled in any convincing way among fellow scientists, who are still waiting on empirical evidence and confirmations. All good science should be open to being falsified – indeed, that is the very point of the scientific method. Be very afraid of the absolutists who claim that their science is “settled, so let’s just move on.”

Mr. Hamilton is clearly confused about what the Enlightenment was to mankind: a profound intellectual release, not another doctrinal prison.

For those who feel secure in their reformed Pascal’s Wager, who believe that to throw one’s lot in with the alarmists will yield nothing much to lose, this could not be further from the truth. If the alarmists have their way, the consequences opposed to our personal freedoms – and life as we now live it – are utterly staggering.


– Olivia Pierson – read the non-abridged article here

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